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The Apartment


ISSUE:  Spring 2012

Remember the Worcester apartment: third floor
of a three-family, in the upper reaches of the elms. Whole afternoons
could still in it, each room

oddly bright inside, like the bloom at the top of a hollyhock.

*


I remember the apartment, third floor
“like a tree-house” but the layout
forcing a certain passage, a tight

loop: entering into the living room, you turned

right through an arch, into the dining room, and then again
through another, smaller arch

into the kitchen in the back, crammed in
under crooked eaves. Plotted like a child’s story (and just then—) each room

offered a second door, a way onward: through the kitchen
right into the bedroom, through bedroom into the dark,

paneled hall, which ended, at the front door again. Afternoons
you could sit

in the filtered light, obliterating
as a perfect argument. Or watch the leaves rustle, but it was too weird, being
up there, eventually

like being a breath. Like being only the thought

your mind was having.

*


The rain thumps against the house. It thumps
on the side of the house. Thumps against it—

In a thicket, a damp grey rabbit blinks. That is to say,
in the pause before the boat responds—

I remember your apartment, more peculiar
by night (the candles

only worsened it, a flame disappearing in the apartment’s distance, then reappearing,
like a fire at the far end of a field) and I moved through

like blood in an artery, except
there was nothing at the center, there was

no center there at all, only

the sound of you, turning over, and a car door
slammed below. Often in those moments

I imagined the children. And now they are beautiful, stretched on the floor, chins

in their perfect hands. Now they are watching

this huge, speckled TV—        silver TV


*


And Love, I hear you, but I am tired (so tired!) of sky that comes down in snow


There must be something to believe

But I know there is nothing to believe

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